Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lamictal 300 mgs: Too Much Booze

The past several months have been pretty stressful for me.  There's been the relationship drama, the wondering whether I'd go crazy again, and then there's been some unexpected veterinary visits for both my cats totaling about $600.  One of the cats was simple -- yeast infection in her ears.

The other cat?  She has a weird collection of symptoms.  She's off her food, which is really concerning; there's a reason her nickname is "Piglet".  She's lost some weight.  A few weeks ago she was dribbling urine, but that was diagnosed as a UTI and cleared up.  She's having digestive issues.  They did a full blood panel and urinalysis.  It didn't really show anything wrong, except perhaps mild kidney dysfunction.

And she's still not eating.  Cancer can't be ruled out until a full x-ray and ultrasound is performed, and that would cost me $600 to $800.  I don't know whether I would do that test or not given that my next step would be palliative care.  Everyone I know who's treated a cat for cancer says it's traumatic for everyone involved.

Or, maybe my cat, who's pushing 17 pretty hard, is just showing her age.

That's the background information that explains why I've been drinking too much.

I don't usually drink a lot.  A few glasses of wine a week, on the nights when I cook with it.  Those few glasses of wine a week have become a few glasses a night on most nights.  I drink for a several reasons.  To relieve stress.  To make sure I'll sleep like the dead.

But mostly I drink to reward myself.  I've had such a crappy day, I think to myself.  I deserve a treat.  It doesn't help that lamictal seems to attenuate the effects of alcohol; I used to feel slightly buzzed after one glass of wine, and now it takes two and a half glasses to get to that point.

I need to think of another treat.  By drinking this much, I'm putting even more stress on my liver -- the poor thing is already dealing with 300 mgs of lamictal, 5 mgs of Abilify, 70 mgs of Vyvanse, 1.5 mgs of ativan, 10 mgs of Singluair (asthma prevention med), and 10 mgs of claritin for allergies.  I'm probably not sleeping as well as I think; I have no idea how the alcohol and the ativan are interacting.  I feel like I sleep more deeply when I combine them, but I've been waking up sleepy lately.

In the short term, the alcohol is messing with my weight training goals.  Back in the day, when I was losing weight, I was able to stay away from alcohol because I knew it would interfere with my goals.  I need to get back to a place where that is my reward -- deciding not to do something because it will prevent me from attaining the level of fitness I want to attain, and because it will make me healthier.

But in the mean time, I need to replace alcohol with another reward.  Any ideas?

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